FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?

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FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#1
Posted: 10/8/09 at 11:15pm
How was it?
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#2
Posted: 10/9/09 at 12:13am
I was there and absolutely loved it. It may not be a perfect show or a 100% perfect production, but I smiled through the whole thing and walked out singing the songs and wanting to get up on stage to dance my own ballet with the golden crock!

I had a great time at Encores!, and it was so much better this time around. Chuck Cooper received applause after every line he uttered and thrilled us all with The Begat. He is a true legend of the stage. Terri White is still shaking the rafters with Necessity.

Kate Baldwin is absolutely magical as Sharon. I really, really love her voice and acting. I hope she gets a Tony nom for this performance. It is very earned in my opinion.

Chris Fitzgerald is a big improvement as Og, and his 11 o'clock I Love The Girl I'm Near number was pretty hilarious.

The set is nice and the costumes are beautiful. The direction was very spot on, and the choreography was AWESOME! I truly loved the dancing, and the ensemble is very hard-working.

Comparing this to Bye Bye Birdie isn't even funny, or fair. Of the two revivals so far Finian's comes out the clear winner.
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#2
Posted: 10/9/09 at 12:19am
GREAT to hear! keep the good news coming!!!
I'll take the wind and soar.
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#3
Posted: 10/9/09 at 12:26am
I agree with whizzer that it was an improvement over Encores! (which I loved), but there is still something about this show that feels very dated, but SOUTH PACIFIC still feels very fresh to me.

Jim Norton was fine...he really has the least to do, but still gets the final bow anyway.

I am not a fan of Kate Baldwin at all, but she was much improved since Encores! Her acting and singing were significantly better. Still, she is no Melissa Errico, nor will she ever be.

Cheyenne Jackson was as bland as ever. He is so overrated and I will never understand why people like him.

Chris Fitzgerald, as whizzer pointed out, is a huge improvement as Og. "When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love" was so wonderful. The final pose of him and Susan th Silent was amazing.

Terri White is a gem of the earth and it is thrilling to have her back on the Broadway stage after 20 years (her last Bway credit was WELCOME TO THE CLUB). "Necessity" was absoutely brilliant and she will stop the show every night with that number. I love her.

Tony-award winner Chuck Cooper is also another excellent addition to this cast. He makes the most of his small role and gets tons of laughs and applause throughout. "The Begat" was a showstopper.

So, even with a few actors who I didn't care for, and a creaky book, I still had a fantastic time. This production is definitely worth seeing. I also have to give a lot of credit to Warren Carlyle - the direction and choreography were fantastic.

Look to the Rainbow and get to the St. James!
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#4
Posted: 10/9/09 at 12:26am
It's great that the advance word on this is so positive. Obviously the director has the right light whimsical touch for this fantasy. The score is overstuffed with gems. Is it too much to hope for a new cast recording? The 1960 revival cast is quite good but out of general circulation now (although Arkiv offers CD-R copies.)

Cast albums are NOT "soundtracks."
Live theatre does not use a "soundtrack." If it did, it wouldn't be live theatre!

I host a weekly one-hour radio program featuring cast album selections as well as songs by cabaret, jazz and theatre artists. The program, FRONT ROW CENTRE is heard Sundays 9 to 10 am and also Saturdays from 8 to 9 am (eastern times) on www.proudfm.com

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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#5
Posted: 10/9/09 at 12:27am
Although I love the off-Broadway recording with Malcolm Gets, I'm hoping for a new recording, too! I love me some Cheyenne, and to not have Terri White's "Necessity" recorded is a crime.
Nothing matters but knowing nothing matters. ~ Wicked
Everything in life is only for now. ~ Avenue Q
There is no future, there is no past. I live this moment as my last. ~ Rent

"He's a tramp, but I love him."
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#6
Posted: 10/9/09 at 12:35am
There will be a new recording.

...and Terri White's "Necessity" is recorded...on the Errico/Gets recording. But I'm glad it will be recorded again...she is brilliant.
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#7
Posted: 10/9/09 at 12:40am
Ughhh I am so excited for this! I think I might rush this weekend...I'm dying to see it!
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#8
Posted: 10/9/09 at 12:41am
I spoke to my mom about the show during intermission. She asked me how I liked it and the phrase I used to describe the show was a musical fable. In that while there was a good fantasy story going on it was one that had (albeit a semi dated) moral.

I was in love with Baldwin's voice and thought that she and Jackson were amazingly well together. I could go on praising each individual cast member who stood out but that would go on forever since I thought that the show was well cast. I must say that Fitzgereld did stand out as Og and I thought that he was just right for the role.

I did want to point out that Warren came to the front of the house and thanked everyone for coming to the first preview. He also mentioned to us that Alina Faye who plays Susan Mahoney, came down with pneumonia and Leslie Donna Flesner went on after learning the entire show in a matter of hours. When he mentioned that I was scratching my head as to why that would be the case, then I realized that they don't usually have understudy rehearsals until after the show opens.
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#9
Posted: 10/9/09 at 12:43am
withoutatrace: you know for sure?????
I'll take the wind and soar.
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#10
Posted: 10/9/09 at 12:44am
nothing is officially signed yet, but yes, there will be a recording.
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#11
Posted: 10/9/09 at 12:59am
FINIAN'S RAINBOW has not had a plethora of records...nothing like SOUTH PACIFIC (with 11 full cast albums) or ANNIE GET YOUR GUN (with 10.)

As much as I enjoyed the off-Broadway version with Malcolm Gets I missed the full orchestra. Not counting the bizarre Frank Sinatra and friends studio cast I count just 4 full recordings: The 1947 original, the 1960 revival, the film soundtrack (with that "boxy" Warner Bros soundstage sound) and the off-Broadway Irish Rep cast.

A modern recording with full orchestra would be most welcome.

Cast albums are NOT "soundtracks."
Live theatre does not use a "soundtrack." If it did, it wouldn't be live theatre!

I host a weekly one-hour radio program featuring cast album selections as well as songs by cabaret, jazz and theatre artists. The program, FRONT ROW CENTRE is heard Sundays 9 to 10 am and also Saturdays from 8 to 9 am (eastern times) on www.proudfm.com

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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#12
Posted: 10/9/09 at 1:08am
Did anyone buy TDF tickets? Where were they?
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#13
Posted: 10/9/09 at 1:25am
F5,7 in the Mezz. Excellent seats.
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#14
Posted: 10/9/09 at 1:38am
Good to hear, I have TDF seats for sometime next weekend.
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#15
Posted: 10/9/09 at 9:28am
Going to the matinee next Sat (the 17th) Row B Seat 10. A little far to the side, but not too bad...can't wait.
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#16
Posted: 10/9/09 at 10:19am
I had seen the Encores! presentation twice and was delighted by the first preview last night of Finian's Rainbow. The orchestrations are lovely and the staging and direction work wonderfully on the minimal set, giving the actors the opportunity to sing and dance their hearts out. Cheyenne Jackson establishes without a doubt his bona fides as a stellar Broadway leading man in the mold of Robert Goulet, John Raitt and Alfred Drake. He is beautifully matched by his glorious leading lady, the bewitching Kate Baldwin. Never have I seen nor heard such a gorgeous romantic couple onstage and the audience was entranced by their romance. By the time they sang “If This Isn’t Love” the whole audience had fallen in love with them, and the enormous ovation they received at the conclusion was a testimony to the power of their performances.

The entire cast gets to shine: Jim Norton as the charming rascal Finian, Terri White stops the show with “Necessity,” Chuck Cooper has the vocal and acting chops to win us over as the transformed Senator Rawlins, and his counterpart David Schramm was a wonderful villain. The male quartet was superb and the dancing by Leslie Donna Flessner who took over for the ailing Alina Faye was lovely. Christopher Fitzgerald proved what an endlessly resourceful actor he is in the dazzling role of Og the Leprechaun.

My overall feeling from this production was the great sense of and need for community, which speaks to us today in an even more resonant way than it did 60 years ago. I was thrilled and excited by this provocative and tuneful musical that brilliantly weaves together a multifaceted story in a way that pokes fun and provokes serious thought about our past and our present. This is a marvelous revival of Finian's Rainbow, a gem of a show with beautiful songs and dances from Broadway’s Golden Era, that has plenty to say about the state we find ourselves in today and does so in a most entertaining manner.

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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#17
Posted: 10/9/09 at 10:58am
I was there with my parents (who loved it)

It's much better than Encores. The choreography is tighter, and the staging is very well done. Cheyenne and Kate were both in great voice, and gave superb performances. Kate is very tall, and needs someone of Cheyenne's staure to make her seem small. They are a perfect physical match-up. Jim was great, same as City Center.

I loved Christopher Fitzgerald, Terry White, and Chuck Cooper.

I loved the costumes in "When the Idle Poor Become the Idle Rich" Although, that was the olny number that the staging seemed a bit clunky to me. *ducks*

The sets are minimal, but seem to suit the production well.

Overall, I think this is a wondeful production.
Updated On: 10/9/09 at 10:58 AM
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#18
Posted: 10/9/09 at 11:18am
Terri White's "Necessity" is recorded...on the Errico/Gets recording.

Oops. *blushes*
Nothing matters but knowing nothing matters. ~ Wicked
Everything in life is only for now. ~ Avenue Q
There is no future, there is no past. I live this moment as my last. ~ Rent

"He's a tramp, but I love him."
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#19
Posted: 10/9/09 at 11:32am
I really hope I get the chance to see this. All I've seen is the marquee. re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#20
Posted: 10/9/09 at 1:43pm
I had occasion to speak to the nephew of E.Y. Harburg, lyricist and co-author of the book of FINIAN'S RAINBOW. The nephew described his uncle as being super-liberal and as an iconoclast. Thus, the provocative content of some of this musical.
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#21
Posted: 10/9/09 at 3:05pm
How crowded/full was the theatre? Were there any merchandise goodies available?
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#22
Posted: 10/9/09 at 3:13pm
It appeared that the balcony was roped off, and the upper mezz was empty at back and the sides.

They had windowcards, the vocal selections and magnets for sure at the merch table.
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#23
Posted: 10/9/09 at 3:17pm
They were sellin button pins, keychain, 2 types t-shirts (1 had Look to the rainbow with a picture of a square rainbow) (the 2nd one looked like a Abrocrombie and Fitch shirt that said something about kentucky i had no idea what its about

a rainbow umbrella, tote back, Baldwin Cd, vocal selections from the show
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re: FINIAN'S RAINBOW first preview?#24
Posted: 10/9/09 at 4:13pm
How was the "blackface" subplot handled. Is he still painted up after running down the aisle?